York is a beautiful walled city located 171 miles away from London. The recent housing boom that has hit the UK has not failed to reach this enigmatic city. York is fast becoming a hotspot when it comes to student housing. Investors are getting more and more drawn to this city as the student population in the city continues to grow.
York currently has a population of 205000 people. The student population takes up more than 50000 of this and the number is growing at an alarming rate. These students attend the universities and colleges in the city and with new institutions coming up this number will soon exceed 100000. York is immensely appealing to investors looking to get into the student housing sector.
Student Housing Needs
Any investor looking to go into student accommodation should know that rental housing is the best option. With a tight budget and lots of other responsibilities that require money, students are always looking for affordable yet still comfortable places to live.
A very important preference for students is large common areas such as kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms. Other amenities such as toilets and bathrooms should also be adequate and fully functional.
Putting in place security measures in your building can also boost likability for your property. Cameras, alarms and smoke detectors can go a long way in improving the appeal of your building to prospective student tenants.
Universities and Colleges in York
The student population of York is constantly growing thanks to the universities and colleges in the city. York is home to some of the best schools in the UK including the following:
1. University of York
2. York St. John University
3. Careers, University of York
4. York College
5. Derwent College
6. Alcuin College
Different students prefer different setups when it comes to accommodation. Here are a few types available in York.
- Shared flats
- Studio apartments
- Shared houses
- Student halls of residence
- Student lodgings
- Detached and semi detached houses
These living spaces are governed by rules as set by the city council. As an investor it is important to find out which one applies to your HMO. You must ensure that your building complies with all the laws of the council as failure to do so might result in hefty penalties.
Useful Statistics for Property Owners
33 to 35 percent; that is the ratio of student rent defaulters to regular tenants. Contrary to popular opinion, students do not default on their rental payments as much as people assume they do. The reason behind this is because they usually have guarantors (parents or guardians) who are responsible in case they do not pay their rent as agreed.
The National Landlord Association reported that only 38 percent of them experienced students who failed to pay their rent on time in the period of a whole year. Also, only 30 percent of the same population were affected by voids or periods when their homes were left vacant in the same length of time.
7 to 6.1 percent represents the percentage ratio of yields from student lets when compared to regular rental property. At 7 percent, student housing is an appealing venture to any investor who is looking to make it big in the property market. These numbers are set to go up in the coming years with some surveys already reporting that they are up by 3 percent.
Useful Tips for Letting to Students
1. Choose the correct property
Location matters a lot when it comes to student housing. Students prefer rental properties which are close to public amenities. Also, finding a place that is not very far from the city centre will definitely work in your favour.
Space is an important factor to consider when choosing buy to let properties. While bedroom need not be too big, common areas like the living room, kitchen and dining room are expected to be spacious enough to accommodate everyone comfortably. Make sure that the bathrooms and toilets are also enough to cater for the needs of your tenants.
2. Get on university’s landlords lists
Learning institutions in and around York usually keep lists of accredited landlords in the area. These lists help students with their house search and are often the first choice for many. It may not be easy to get on the list of accredited landlords as a first time investor so you are better of enlisting the help of a letting agent as they are known by the student services associations in the schools.
3. Furnish wisely
Go for strong and durable furnishing as opposed to the cheap furnishing being touted around. These often get broken or worn down pretty fast and you have to do it all over again. To cut cost in the long run, go for sturdy materials and enjoy their service for years. Students can get rowdy and careless and your furnishing should be designed to handle that.
4. Read up on what the law says
Student housing generally falls under the HMOs category because more than three students tend to live in one unit at a time. The city council of York has mandatory licences for these facilities and you as an investor needs to know which apply and which do not.
5. Getting guarantors for your tenants
As an investor you need not to be able to protect your income in every way possible. This is why most landlords running student lets in York ask their tenants to get guarantors. You will not be able to check your students’ credit or get them to give you employer references but at least their parents will be liable whenever they fail to remit their rent.
York has immense potential when it comes to student housing. The demand is a lot more than the supply right now and the number of students enrolling in York schools is steadily growing. Buying property now while the boom is still on can guarantee you high returns for the next seven years according to latest financial forecasts.